On a self-proclaimed mission to shake up the conventional large luxury crossover scene, the 2013 Infiniti JX made its debut in production form at the Los Angeles show. Looking like a virtual clone of the JX Concept revealed at Pebble Beach last August, this dramatically styled and feature-rich seven-passenger high-line hauler is the latest manifestation of Infiniti's ever-broadening model mix.
Embodying elements of the division's latest design language first revealed on the Essence Concept, the 2013 Infiniti JX eschews the traditional angular look in favor of more expressive exterior lines that Senior Vice President and Chief Creative Officer, Shiro Nakamura, describes as a "fresh, bold alternative to the many flavors of vanilla currently dominating the three-row luxury crossover segment."
The JX's flowing bodywork, augmented by various aero-enhancing spoilers and underbody fairings, yields a 0.34 coefficient of drag and zeroes out both front and rear lift to optimize its stability at speed. Standard bi-xenon headlamps, LED taillamps and its crescent-cut D-Pillar add further visual interest while boosting its see-and-be-seen index.
As one would rightly expect, the Infiniti JX packs a full load of luxo standards, from power everything, leather upholstery and tri-zone climate control to a multifunction central controller with a 7.0-inch color information display, Intelligent Key access, USB/iPod connectivity and XM Satellite Radio. On a more fundamental level, the JX's spacious cabin also offers the most passenger space of any current competitor, including the Cadillac Escalade, and boasts segment-leading cargo volume, which is easily accessed by its standard power liftgate. The three-tier seating layout teams power front buckets with a tilt-and-slide 60/40 split second-row bench that offers 5.5 inches of fore/aft travel which facilitates access to the adult-accommodating 50/50 third-row perches.
Both front-drive and all-wheel-drive versions of the 2013 Infiniti JX share a common engine/transmission combo. It matches an award-winning 3.5-liter V6 engine that makes 265 horsepower and 248 lb-ft of torque with the division's first application of a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) that features a Sport mode capable of mimicking the fixed ratios in a conventional autoshifter. Preliminary EPA estimates call for both drivetrain configurations to net 17/23 mpg city/highway figures.
In addition to a comprehensive roster of safety features and six airbags, the 2013 Infiniti JX will offer enhancements like an optional Blind Spot Intervention system, with or without Backup Collision Intervention, a feature that helps a driver detect objects---or people---crossing behind when the vehicle is shifted into reverse and automatically engages the brakes if necessary to avoid an impact. Audiophiles can opt for a primo 14-speaker Bose Studio Surround sound system with Waveguide bass contouring, the latest iteration of the multi-faceted Infiniti Connection Telematics package and no fewer than five different equipment packages that add everything from navigation and rear-seat entertainment to Intelligent Cruise Control and Forward Collision Warning.
On sale next spring, pricing for the 2013 Infiniti JX will start at $41,400 for the front-drive model and $42,500 for the all-wheel drive model. Each of those figures also includes Infiniti Personal Assistant, the automaker's personal concierge service that provides 24/7 access to a team of live professional facilitators.